Are Mormons Christians?


I guess I should not be surprised by now. I have heard it and read it so many times that I still wonder how it is that some people don’t know. Of course Mormons are Christians. We are the Church of Jesus Christ.

It has been asked and answered many times in many ways and in many places by many people over the years. Yet it continues to come up day after day. I read it in forums, on blogs, on websites and in news articles.

Perhaps it is just simple curiosity that causes the question to be asked again. I like to think that the questioner is just repeating what they have heard others say and want to be reassured. Yes, Mormons are Christians.

Resources on the Internet

A Google search of the question brings Jeff Lindsay’s FAQ to the top of the list. Read that and you will find that the question is answered affirmatively in several different ways. He links to a great article in the Ensign by Stephen E. Robinson that addresses the topic in great detail.

Brother Robinson even wrote a book answering the question. Elder Holland addressed this most eloquently in the Oct 2007 General Conference. He makes it so clear that our break with conventional Christianity is over the Nicene creed, which is not Biblical in authority.

Maybe if all the LDS bloggers in the world added a post answering the question, people would get the idea that yes, Mormons are Christians. Perhaps then we could get the message across more clearly than some of the other links that come up in the Google search.

The leaders and the members agree

The leaders of the Church have been declaring this message for as long as I can remember. I have never heard a talk or sat in on a lesson in which it was ever said that we are not Christian. It is only in the last twenty or twenty five years that we have been accused of this falsehood.

Elder Ballard has said that the Church does not have the resources or the personnel to answer this question each and every time it comes up. He extended an invitation to members of the Church to get involved in sharing the gospel on the Internet and using the new media to do so.

Many thousands of regular members of the Church have added their witness of Christ in forums, on their own websites and blogs and in comments on many newspaper articles over the years. I too am just a regular member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My witness of Jesus Christ

On this Easter day, I add my witness that I am a Christian. Yes, Mormons are Christians. We believe in Christ. We worship Christ. I can’t imagine there wasn’t an LDS chapel today where the talks in Sacrament meeting weren’t about the Savior, his atonement and resurrection.

I raised my voice in song today in worship of Jesus Christ. I spent two years as a missionary in Central America declaring the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I bore my witness to thousands that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Redeemer of Mankind.

Just because we don’t accept the non-Biblical Nicene creed does not mean that we do not believe in or worship Jesus Christ. We have so much in common with other Christians. We each want to do good in the world. I think it is only some ministers who are stirring up this controversy.

This one minute video clip from an Apostle of Jesus Christ answers the question succinctly:

And a more recent video from Elder Gary Coleman on Mormon Messages:

27 Responses

  1. I read your post about Latter-day Saints being “Christians”. Given the definition of Christ from an LDS perspective and that of mainline Christianity, that’s not an accurate assessment. Just because you say it, even with feeling doesn’t make it so.The non-LDS version of Christianity doesn’t include polygamy…a glorified being of flesh and bones…and the literal brother of Lucifer. It doesn’t include a visitation by a resurrected Christ to North America either or a belief that they don’t have the authority to act in his name. Under no circumstances would a non-LDS Christian group keep loving parents from the weddings of their children.I’m not quite sure why the LDS Church has made such an effort in recent years to become or try to align themselves more and more with mainstream versions of Christianity.

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  2. Thank you anonymous, for your thoughtful comment. You are correct that our definitions of Christianity do not agree.Nevertheless, we are followers of Jesus Christ. We love him dearly and appreciate so much what he has done for us as our Redeemer.Thank you for mentioning the visitation of the resurrected Savior to the Americas. Of course, that account can be read in the Book of Mormon.I’m not sure that the LDS Church is attempting to align itself more with mainstream Christianity. While we have much in common, we will always have our differences.We are simply attempting to fulfill the mandate to take the gospel to all the world. We invite all to hear the message of the restoration and to read the Book of Mormon.Each of the other points you brought up deserve a response. I will do so in future posts. Thank you for visiting my blog. Please come back again.

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  3. Some people discuss the Mormon view of the godhead as compared to the Nicean Creed and use this as evidence that Mormon’s are not Christians. They say that main stream Christians, relying on the Nicean Creed, accept the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as one being, while Mormon’s say they are separate beings.The book of John clearly states that they are separate. The most commonly sited example is John 17:20-22 which explains what the scriptures mean when they say members of the godhead are one. A shorter, lesser known scripture is John 8 where Jesus says:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.This scripture is simple, direct, and clear.Seth @ sethcall2@yahoo.com

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  4. In spite of Harper’s and the Nicean council decisions, there is a differrence in the LDS god called Jesus and the Jesus of the Bible, and the Bible clearly posts a Trinity in numerous places. First, let’s look at a few Trinity examples:Who raised Jesus from the dead?The Father (Rom 6:4, Acts 3:26, I Thes 1:10) The Son (John 2:19-21, 10:17-18), The Spirit (ROm 8:11) or God (Heb 13:20,Acts13:30,17:31)Who is God?The Father (Eph 4:6) The Son (Tit 2:13, John 1:1, 20:28, 9:35-37) The Spirit (Gen 1:2, Ps 104:30) or God (Gen 1:1, Heb 11:3)Who saves mankind? The Father (I Pet 1:3) The Son (John 5:21, 4:14) The Spirit (John 3:6, Tit 3:5) or God (I John 3:9)Who justifies man?The Father (Jer 23:6, II Cor 5:19)The Son (Rom 5:9, 10:4, II Cor 5:19,21) The Spirit (I Cor 6:11, Gal 5:5) or God (Rom 45:6, 9:33)Who sanctifies man?The Father (Jude 1), The Son (Tit 2:14), The Spirit (I Pet 1:2) or God (Ex 31:13)The Trinity is shown clearly. The functions of each person of the godhead are shown in I Cor 8:6 and John 15:26: Of the Father, by the Son, through the Spirit.We also note from scripture that Jesus could be in many places at one time while He was alive on earth. For example, when he sent forth is disciples on their first missionary effort before His death, He told them that “Wherever two or more of you are gathered together, there am I in the midst of you.” Additionally, we note that while Jesus was on earth He was also in heaven simultaneously as shown in John 3:13. Another confusing point for the LDS is the baptism of Jesus, mentioned in your General Authority speech referenced in this article. Jesus clearly stated in John 5:37 that the voice from heaven was not of the Father.So we have a complex God, a Triune God, and no wonder. We all want to be able to conceive of what He is like, but we cannot even conceive of what His creation is like. For example, having trouble with math? As for Jesus, look at it this way. If I were to erect two cardboard figures of Jesus, same likeness, and named them both Jesus, how would you know if one was the true Jesus or not? By feelings? Well, no. You would have to turn the cardboard figures around and read who they are. One is a man, one is eternal God. One was created, one is the Creator. I submit to you, if you were to select the wrong figure to follow, there would be nothing at the end of life but an empty promise of an idol.

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  5. Hi Jim,Thanks for your response to my essay on Mormons being Christian. You are correct that we do not interpret the Bible the way you do in regards to the nature of God. Because we base our religion on modern revelation, we are happy to proclaim to the world that God and Jesus Christ are two separate and distinct individuals.We do not confuse them in some mystical, ethereal way as so many do. Nothing could be clearer than a modern eye-witness who claims to have seen God the Father and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was not the only one to bear witness of the Savior as a living, resurrected being, separate and distinct from God the Father.The Son of God was also seen by Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdeon, with their witness recorded in modern revelation – the Doctrine and Covenants. It is a wonderful message that we proclaim to the world: God lives and reveals himself to his servants the prophets. Christ is our Lord and Savior and directs the work of his church, restored again in our day and age.As resurrected beings, they both have physical, glorified bodies of flesh and bones, as tangible as man. While the spirit and influence of God and Christ are felt through the Holy Ghost, they are only in one place at a time. Christ was not praying to Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane. The voice that was heard at the Baptism of Jesus was indeed the voice of God the Father.The Father bore witness of the Son in several other instances of recorded scripture, including the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that we have the witness of modern prophets who declare unto us the true nature of God. I am equally grateful for the opportunity to receive my own assurance, borne of the Spirit of God, that God the Father and Jesus Christ are two very separate and distinct persons.I believe in Christ. I worship Him and my Heavenly Father. There is really only one question that we need to answer for ourselves, and that is, was Joseph Smith a prophet? If he was, then it is imperative to our salvation to pay close attention to what he revealed. God provided a tangible witness that we can read for ourselves – the Book of Mormon. It includes a promise that we can know of its truthfulness for ourselves.God will send his Spirit into our hearts and minds to help us accept these things if he ask humbly and with a sincere heart. Millions have done so and have been converted to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I am one of them and am grateful to be able to share that witness of Jesus Christ. I especially appreciate the opportunity to be able to do so through modern technology.I know that the Savior I worship is the same that walked the earth thousands of years ago. As the Son of God, He has come again to the earth, along with God the Father, and visited Joseph Smith to usher in the Restoration of the gospel and His church. He did this because he loves us and wants to help prepare us for the Second Coming and the end of the world.

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  6. Greetings! First of all I must point out how impressed I am the the kind tone of your responses. You are to be commended for this.However, I must insist that you are absolutely incorrect when you say that Mormons are Christians. Having “Chirst” written above the ward door does not make it Christian. Rather, a person is a Christian if, and only if, they follow Jesus.And according to Bruce McKonkie Mormons follow a different Jesus from “other Christians”. The Jesus you follow is totally different from the Jesus of the Bible. You can call your deity ‘Jesus’ but he really isn’t.That we part ways at Nicea is true enough, but misguided. Nicea (and Chalcedon, etc) are consistently misrepresented in Mormon literature. It was here that the church EXPLAINED what the Bible itself always taught. To suggest that the Bible was rejected at the ecumenical councils for the doctrine of men is to totally rewrite history as it actually happened. To reject the councils, therefore, is ultimately to reject the Bible itself. Again, the creeds and councils explain the Bible, not supplant it.What is more, according to the first vision, the creeds (which are merely summeries of the Bible) are an abomination in the eyes of God. The Bible, then, Mormonism implies, is an abomination in the eyes of God. Of course, no LDS person would think of it in this way, but, that is the inescapable conclusion of the so-called restored gospel. Then too, the Book of Mormon describes all of Christendom, not counting Mormonism, as the church of the devil. Mormons are very concerned, in my experience, to appear as just one more denomination/s. If we are so satanic, why would you want to identify with us? To get more of our congregants to join your ranks?I am afraid that there is a vast difference between Christianity and Mormonism. You Saints just aren’t biblical enough to qualify as true Christians. This is not to say that you are bad people or anything like that. You are very ethical and religious, so far as I can tell, but you are NOT Christians.

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  7. Hi Evangelical. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving your comments. It has always been my hope that the dialog between LDS people and others Christians can be civil and non-judgmental. There are some ideas in your comment with which I agree and others with which I do not agree.I agree with your statement that a person is a Christian only if they follow Jesus. You are also correct in that we do not believe in the same Jesus that is taught in many modern Christian churches that is based on the Nicean creed. I do not agree with your statement that the Nicean and other creeds explained what the Bible always taught. What was brought forth at Nicea was not explaining what the Bible taught, but was an attempt to reconcile non-Biblical beliefs of many religions of their day that had crept into the church.Rather than comment on what Elder Bruce R. McConkie may have taught when he was alive, I think the best response I can provide would be to refer you to this recent address by current LDS Apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland.In it he states, “…any criticism that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not hold the contemporary Christian view of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost is not a comment about our commitment to Christ but rather a recognition (accurate, I might add) that our view of the Godhead breaks with post–New Testament Christian history and returns to the doctrine taught by Jesus Himself. “He also said, “It is not our purpose to demean any person’s belief nor the doctrine of any religion. We extend to all the same respect for their doctrine that we are asking for ours. (That, too, is an article of our faith.) But if one says we are not Christians because we do not hold a fourth- or fifth-century view of the Godhead, then what of those first Christian Saints, many of whom were eyewitnesses of the living Christ, who did not hold such a view either?”While it is true that the Lord said to Joseph Smith that the creeds of Christendom were an abomination to him, we do not hold to the idea that the Bible is an abomination. Indeed, it is one of our articles of faith that we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. The creeds are not biblical and many of the early saints recognized this as Elder Holland pointed out. Like them, I cannot worship a God who is incomprehensible. That is not Biblical, especially when we are invited by Jesus to come to know God, our Father and Jesus Christ who he sent to be our Savior.I’m not so sure that I agree with your contention that the Book of Mormon describes all Christendom as belonging to the Church of the devil. Some may interpret it that way but I do not. I also do not feel that we are trying to be identified as just one more denomination. We have always proclaimed our unique message to be that we are a restored Christianity, not just another protestant religion.Yes, there are differences between what is taught in many of the Christian churches today as Christianity and what we teach about following Christ. But I like to focus on what we agree upon – that we must come unto God through Christ, repenting of our sins, being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. With that gift our lives are blessed and we come to know God and Jesus Christ.We invite all people and especially believers in Jesus Christ to listen to our message and to receive the additional knowledge revealed in our day through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord brought forth the Book of Mormon as another witness of Jesus Christ. Through it, a man can get closer to the Savior than through any other book. It testifies of Christ and his mission to redeem us from death and hell and endless torment that would be our lot unless it were for his mission. I love Christ and hope to follow him more completely all the rest of the days of my life.

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  8. Hey there Tim! Yes, civil and non-judgmental dialogue-as opposed to verbal fist fight-is hitting the nail right on the head. I’m glad we can agree on this point at least. I am also glad to see you giving credit where credit is due. When I say something that is right, in other words, you openly admit it. I am even glad to see you openly admitting what you disagree with.However, your disagreements here appear to be based on a lack of knowledge which is the whole point I was trying to make before. The area of confusion revolves around the creeds and confessions of Christendom. So let’s take a closer look at those.You are making the claim that the creeds/confessions were an illigitimate baptising, if you will, of paganism. This is admittedly the common understanding of the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals etc. but it is NOT history. Can you site a single historical reference to prove me wrong? There are many Mormon sources you could no doubt point me to but these all suffer from the same misunderstanding.One of the creeds is called “The Apostles Creed” and the idea behind the title is that it was the belief of the Apostles themselves. Whether or not the idea is correct is of course another question but Christians of ALL stripes appeal to the creed as orthodox doctrine which is a bare minimum for ALL Christians of other stripes to agree upon (and still be truly Christian).Now, the things I am saying to you are not some deep burried secret. The councils were convened hundreds of years ago. The history about them has been there just as long to be examined by all critics of them. This has not been done in a corner. Therefore, when Mormons speak out against that which they do not know, yet think they do know, they are without excuse. Sorry to be so frank here.For example, last night I searched wikipedia for “Nicean Creed” and briefly skimmed the main article. There I read that the Nicean Council, like the other councils, where convened to combat heresy. What is heresy? It is a denial of true Christian doctrine (although it often SOUNDS very Christian). And where do Christians get their doctrine from? The Bible. So this guy named Arius came along and said certain things (which is more in line today with the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses than with that of the Mormons) and the Christians met to set out why what Arius said was heretical and what the true faith “once for all delivered” to Christendom really was so that other Christians would not be confused and led astray the wolf in sheeps’ clothing. The wolf being Arius himself.The article in wikipedia explicitly states that the councils were symbols. By “symbol” is mean a standard against which other doctrinal systems are compared. So then, the creeds/councils measure the orthodoxy of other claims. If the Mormon claims don’t measure up, they are seen as being heretical. And what is heresy again? Claims contrary to the Bible.No matter how hard you want the historical facts to be different, and no matter how much you say they are different, that in no way changes the fact that the councils are consistently misrepresented/misunderstood in Mormonism. There was no Satanic plot to codify heathinism. Just the opposite was the case. And such is abundantly clear from an easily available cursory examination of what really happened at Nicea (and elsewhere). If you’d like a place to start, merely look up “Nicean Creed” at wikipedia.org and read the article there.If you are going to reject the creeds, you ought to know what it is that you are rejecting. And there is really no escaping the fact that to reject the creeds is to reject, more or less, the Bible itself.Now some comments about Mr. Holland’s words. The people in New Testamant times did not know about the councils because, of course, the councils were not yet held. But it is a mistake to say that they rejected the essence of the councils. For example, all four Gospels present the baptism of Jesus. At the baptism three divine Persons are clearly present. The Father (one) speaks from Heaven. The Son (two) is being baptised. The Holy Ghost (three) appears in bodily form as a dove. And yet the Bible is crystal clear from beginning to end (except to Mormons) that there is one, and only one, God. That is an implicit affirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity was EXPLAINED at the council of Nicea but especially at Chalcedon. Was Jesus praying to Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane? Of course not. Yet there is only one God so the one God MUST be more than one Person ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE itself. For example, compare the shema.It is a bit confusing to bring up the doctrine of the Trinity when speaking about the councils. Why? Because Mormons often badly misunderstand the councils to begin with. This is not a personal indictment of Mormons for we all struggle with misunderstandings in one area or another. But Mormons-and many Trinitarians-also badly misunderstand the doctrine of the Trinity. It is usually best to clarify one misunderstanding with something more clear, not less. That is my fault. You shall, I trust, be quick to forgive my short-comming here.There is a lot more I would like to say in response to your response but I have said quite a bit already and I don’t wish to overload you, or your readers, with too much at once. Besides, what I have said so far is enough to cover the major thrust of what I wished to say here. I do have one favor to ask you Tim before I conclude. Would you please actually take to heart what I’ve said above? I do not mean that you have to agree with it. Just that you would seriously reflect upon it. And please don’t just give a standard Mormon reply or refer me to what some other Mormon person said or say, “well, we have our prophets and they tell us differently” or “I think we’ll have to agree to disagree”. If you think I am wrong, please tell me plainly. But also tell me why YOU YOURSELF think I am wrong. My understanding of what we are doing here is that we are having a RATIONAL discussion so please use reason and evidence in your response. I do not mean to imply that you are an irrational person. It is just that so often in dialogue with Mormons, they shall retreat to their personal testimony which is only a subjective feeling. This isolates them from all rational discourse when it comes to their religion. And that in turn makes rational dialogue impossible. So please and thank you, in advance, for actually thinking about what I’ve said and giving a thoughtful answer to it.Shalom out!

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  9. Hi Evangelical,You are correct that I am not a theologian, but I have at least read the Nicene, Athanasian and Apostles creeds several times over the years. Having grown up in the LDS faith, each time I read them many things immediately jumped out at being incorrect, or at least with which I did not agree. So I wouldn’t characterize my feelings about the creeds as being based on a lack of knowledge but rather upon a lack of belief. I simply don’t believe them.You raise an interesting point about heresy. I readily confess that the claims of the prophet Joseph Smith were considered heretical and blasphemous in his day and are still so considered by many today. They are not orthodox. There is no doubt about it. At times it was difficult growing up and realizing that what my church taught was not orthodox. I had to come to my own determination if I agreed with the idea of being different. I now delight in it and find joy in the uniqueness of our doctrine.The majority of dialog I engage in with other followers of Christ seems to focus on this one point – “But what you believe and teach is not Biblical!” Yep, that’s true. So much of what we profess cannot be found in the Bible. And, amazingly enough, an equal claim can be made about what is NOT found in the Book of Mormon. When it comes right down to it, a lot of what we believe and teach originates with Joseph Smith. That can be very difficult to accept for those who have grown up with the belief that all doctrine must be proved from the Bible.I do not hold my faith to that standard and do not hold others to it either. What’s more, I believe in continuing revelation to the modern-day leaders of my church. Thus, it’s possible that what is taught by Thomas S. Monson, our current prophet could contradict or replace what was taught by an earlier prophet. I confess that it is rare in my experience where I have had to decide who I am going to believe – President Monson or Joseph Smith. In fact, I can’t think of one instance in which it has occurred in my lifetime.As you can see, I have turned this dialog around from a discussion of the creeds of the early Christian fathers to a discussion of trust in the words of modern prophets and apostles, or those that I consider so to be. I’ve done exactly what you asked that I not do. I’m not going to point out where you’re wrong because I don’t believe that is productive. I would like instead to go back to the premise of the original essay, which is, “Are Mormons Christian?”It might have been more aptly entitled, “Are Mormons followers of Jesus Christ?” As you have pointed out, no we are not followers of Christ as defined in the early creeds of the Christian fathers, which you claim simply explained what was taught in the Bible. I have already stated that I do not believe those early creeds to be accurate, therefore, it is logical to conclude that Mormons, at least this member of the LDS Church, do not believe in the Orthodox Jesus Christ of most Christian religions. Therefore, in a sense, we are both right.I profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ, but not the same one that you define through your creeds and the Bible. I follow the Jesus Christ that has been taught to me growing up in LDS Primary, Sunday School, Seminary and Institute. I follow the Jesus Christ that I read about in the Book of Mormon and especially in the Doctrine and Covenants which contains revelations to Joseph Smith. I concede that we do not follow the same definition of Jesus Christ as most Christians.And yet, I am confident that we do believe in and trust in a Christ who is kind, loving and forgiving, one who wants us to be happy and who made it possible for us to repent and be forgiven of our sins. This Jesus showed the way by his acts of kindness and his teachings that lead us back to God. He became mortal and did all things perfectly because he was God, even the Son of God. He commanded me to follow Him and to believe that He is the way, the truth and the life. I do even though I follow Him imperfectly.I do not think you are wrong. You believe in Christ and you follow Him. How can that be wrong. More than half the world does not believe in Christ as the Son of God and as the Savior and Redeemer of mankind. Either they do not see the need for a Savior or they have been taught that there is no God and therefore no sin and no need for someone like Jesus. That is sad. Let us rejoice together that we believe in Christ, even if we do not define him exactly the same in our formal doctrines.

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  10. Tim,I must admit that I was surprised by your response. You admit that revelation can contradict revelation. I was under the impression that LDS persons believed revelation cannot contradict revelation and when a contradiction, say, between the King Follett Discourse (this is authoritative though perhaps not formal scripture) and the Book of Mormon is pointed out to them they shall try in vain to reconcile the two by saying something like, “well, you know, ‘one God’really means ‘three totally different Gods that are merely united in purpose'”. But you actually admit there are, at least potentially, contradictions. There is hope for you yet my friend!But, I now tell myself, hold on a minute. I am allowing myself to be drawn too far afield. The issue at hand is the creeds. More specifically, the Christianity, or lack thereof, of Mormons. But the measuring rod, I hold, is (the Bible itself and secondarily) the creeds.You originally said that the creeds were the mere teachings of men. I explained why that wasn’t correct and gave you an oppurtunity to counter with a stronger case that you were right on this point, and I wrong.Instead, you have declined by saying it is counter-productive. Counter-productive to what? To finding out which one of us is correct in our historical contextualization of the creeds? But that is precisely what is at issue! The only way to settle this disagreement-to produce the truth of the matter-is by giving an accurate and reliable historical context.I have made an effort to do this. You have not. If you simply refuse to do this, I can only suppose what I already know to be the case. The standard Mormon understanding of the creeds has NO basis in history.I want to be very clear on this point. I am NOT saying that you merely don’t believe the doctrines found in the creeds. That much is clear, acceptable, and totally uncontroversial. Rather, what is the issue here is were the creeds themselves mere teachings of men being passed of, hoping nobody would notice, as being normative for all Christians at all times?So then, the LDS are fond of saying, “well, it is true we don’t believe the creeds, but so what? I mean, it is not like we are denying scripture itself.” Well, you are denying scripture for, by denying the doctrine found in the creeds you are denying biblical doctrine. Denying biblical doctrine qualifies you as being not-Christian.Am I wrong about this? Then tell me WHY. I won’t be offended. I want you to correct the error of my apostate ways. I am explicitly asking you to show me the restored gospel I am missing out on. Isn’t that what Mormons do? Before I can hear you, and take what you say seriously, you need to clear away this intellectual stumbling block I have with regard to the creeds. To refuse to address my concern is to concede my point. To concede my point is to admit that at least one aspect of Mormonism is wrong. If she is wrong about this one point (a very important point, too, I might add) she may be wrong about other points as well. Perhaps she is wrong about everything. The point is, I do not think you want to concede my point to me. So the ball is in your court. Your task is simple. Produce one, just one, historical reference that suggests, implicitly or explicitly, that the creeds were intended to ‘make Christian’ apostate, very un-Christian, heresies. Feel free to use Google and other powerful, convenient, research tools. If you are right, it should be easy.This reference is the main thing I’ll look for in your next response. Please make sure to not leave it out.However, there are some more comments I’d like to make with respect to your last response. Fitting a sectarion definition of ‘orthodoxy’ is not what is important. Different sects shall define the term in different ways in any case. What is important, in the present context, is whether Mormons may legitimately call themselves Christians or not. Do the LDS follow Jesus, in other words?And the answer can ONLY be NO. It is not a matter of alternative definitions of the same being but a matter of two totally different beings who are being defined.Suppose that I told you I voted for the current President of the United States. You understand very clearly the mental picture I am asking you to imagine. But, suppose as I continue talking about the President, I mention that SHE is the proud owner of a Blackberry phone. Am I really talking about our President?It would be unfair to say that you and I just have different understandings of the same individual. Your President is a male and mine is a female. A male and a female must be two DIFFERENT people. (We are, of course, ignoring hermaphrodites). When I speak of ‘my President’ I am delusional and speaking of a figment of my imagination. Whether it is your Jesus or my Jesus which is a figment of the imagination, one thing is certain. Namely, there was (and is) only one Jesus. If you, or I, am not following Him, then you, or I, am not really a Christian.Next, how do you KNOW that what you learned, growing up in the Church, is true? The main answer, I presume you would give, is that you FEEL it is true. But I’m not asking about your feelings. Feelings are a very poor epistemological tool. Do you ever FEEL depressed? What SHOULD you do if you FEEL like taking your own life? Seek psychiatric help, not stick your head in an oven. This proves feelings are a poor thing to base knowledge on.In contrast, if you asked me how I KNOW the things I learned in church over the years is true, I could give you a REASON. For example, it is a matter of history-and atheist historians admit this- that there was a man named Jesus who died on a cross, but whose tomb was susequently found empty. However, the disciples, who claimed He was alive again, could not have stolen the body because of the Roman guard (not to mention, most of the disciples apparently died for their faith-so they apparently believed He was alive). The most plausible explanation is that Jesus did, in point of fact, rise from the dead. The miracle of the Ressurrection is God’s stamp of approval that Jesus was Who He said He was. That justifies my belief, learned in church, that Jesus was Who He claimed to be.So I offer REASON for my faith whereas you, presumably, only offer FEELING.Next, you claim to believe in the Bible. And while the Bible does present Jesus as loving and kind, it also presents Him as warning people to flee from the wrath to come. Mormons, the Bible makes clear by implication, are destined for eternal damnation. These are strong words, but I like you too much as a friend to not warn you. You best make sure you are following the right one, or you will be lost. Point blank.One of the main objections I have to Mormonism, is that, in my experience, they usually try to make it sound like they are in total agreement with everything I (or other non-Mormons) say. This annoys me to no end. Elsewhere you explicitly say that Mormons have always pointed out their unique differences and, in your last response, you claim, after blatantly disagreeing with me, that I am not wrong!We may have some areas of overlap in our faiths but we have important differences as well. If you really do think that I am an apostate or an infidel-and you most certainly DO-say so. Why suger-coat it? You don’t have to be rude about it but let’s not kid ourselves. If you really thought I was totally right about everything I’ve been saying, you’d no longer be a Mormon.In conclusion, please remember the main item I’m looking for in your response and please realise that I shall be praying for your salvation. Your zeal for God is commendable. I only hope that someday it will be according to knowledge as well. Peace to you. And Goodbye.

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  11. Hmmm…Perhaps that was a poor choice of words when I said that revelation can contradict revelation. A better phrase would be that current revelation can supplant or replace what was revelation intended for and from a different period in time. The revelation in Noah’s day to build an ark in one that comes to mind. That won’t work for us today because the Lord has revealed that the world will not be baptized by water again. Now preparing for the coming catastrophes is something that we need to prepare for. Thus modern prophets have revealed that we need to store at least three month’s supply of food and water and preferably a year’s supply if we are able. We would do well do heed that revelation.Back to the creeds…I think I’ve made it clear that I don’t believe them and that they weren’t inspired by God. They do not contain revelation and are not presented in a manner that promotes faith – at least not in this humble follower of Jesus Christ. I am not trying to prove anything and not arguing anything. That is not helpful. My desire is to find common ground. There is no need to keep going over the same point again and again. I have already conceded that you are right when you claim that we do not believe in the same definition of Jesus Christ. You base your beliefs on the creeds of the early Christian fathers, which you feel explains or clarifies the Bible and, as you say, contain Biblical doctrine. I disagree and that was Elder Holland’s point.My faith is in the Jesus Christ that I have learned about by studying modern revelation as found in the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and in the teachings of living apostles and prophets. Your faith is in the Jesus Christ that you have learned about through the Bible and the creeds of the early Christian fathers. I have never met Jesus Christ, or at least not in this life, therefore I must rely on the witnesses of others. Some are found in the Bible, but the translation of some of the passages sometimes leaves me scratching my head. That’s why I’m so grateful for additional witnesses of Jesus Christ like those found in the Book of Mormon. I also love the witness of Joseph Smith, a modern prophet, found in section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants:“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” Isn’t that an awesome testimony of Jesus Christ? It teaches so much about Christ and helps me to understand better who he is and how I can worship him. He is the Son of God. He is the creator of this world and many others. We are the children of God and he is our Father. That is so simple and clear as compared to what is in the creeds.That modern witness of a prophet of God is so much more valuable to me than a creed that was written by a committee of men, learned as they may have been, so many years ago. They didn’t offer an eye-witness like Joseph Smith did. I’ll take his testimony over the creeds any day, thank you very much. In regards to denying biblical doctrine, I’m assuming you are aware that we qualify our acceptance of the bible to the phrase, “as far as it is translated correctly.” There are many doctrines believed by modern Christianity that we do not accept due to the fact that they are based on an erroneous translation. We also believe that many doctrines of Christianity are based on misinterpretation. That was the whole reason Joseph Smith went into the grove of trees to pray. He could not come to a knowledge of the truth based on what the various religions of his day were teaching about how to follow Christ. They didn’t agree then and they don’t agree today. They too were trying to understand what they found in the creeds and the Bible alone.The restored gospel of Jesus Christ makes it clear that those who wrote the creeds were no longer in possession of the whole truth. They had lost the understanding of the Godhead, which some call the Trinity, and no longer possessed the keys to obtain that knowledge in the way the Savior intended – through revelation to his authorized priesthood leaders. As Elder Holland stated, “Harper’s Bible Dictionary records that “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the [New Testament].” The restored gospel of Jesus Christ refutes the creed that says that God is without body, parts or passions. That went out the window with the First Vision. You asked for just one creedal item that is refuted by the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I think that one is the most obvious. The non-Biblical teaching that God is without body, parts or passions is simply a misinterpretation of the Bible by uninspired men who then put it into the creeds of their day.After a re-reading of your request, I confess that I am confused by what you want. You wrote, “Produce one, just one, historical reference that suggests, implicitly or explicitly, that the creeds were intended to ‘make Christian’ apostate, very un-Christian, heresies.” Huh? Oh, I get it, you must be referring to the whole idea of the Trinity – “[O]ne God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being. For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another. But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit. Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.” Well, that’s not Biblical, especially when you consider that Jesus said that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” To me, the definition of the Trinity is simply a mass of confusion that does not help me to get to know God or Jesus Christ. Did Christ put off his resurrected body to fit into this convoluted idea of a Trinity? I don’t think so.In summary, we contend that acceptance of the Nicene or other creeds should not be the standard for defining a person as a Christian as the implications of being unchristian extend beyond lack of acceptance of the Nicene Creed. Being unchristian implies not believing in the teachings of Jesus Christ and living one’s life in a manner that Christ would not approve of. We believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He is divine. He is the Son of God. We worship him. We follow him. We teach of him. We prophecy of Jesus Christ and look forward to his return to rule and reign upon the earth as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Say what you want and believe what you want. I am at peace with my belief in Jesus Christ as my master and deliverer. He stands at the head of my church and leads and guides it in these latter days. We invite all honest followers of Jesus Christ to investigate our message of the restored gospel.

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  12. No need to keep going over the same point? I agree. I’d be happy if you’d go over it just once. I asked you for a single historical reference establishing the traditional LDS understanding of the creeds. You have not given it. Instead you talked about how wonderful contemporary prophecy is and explained (very inaccurately, I might add)the doctrine of the Trinity. To repeat, the councils were convened to clarify the teachings OF THE BIBLE ITSELF and I gave support for this assertion. You merely claim my understanding is incorrect. Which reliable, and unbiased, reference source or patristic writing are you going to quote to establish that I have got the historical context wrong and you have it right? It is my contention that you cannot produce one because, quite frankly, the LDS Church merely made up the charicature. But surely you KNOW that just can’t be? Fine, let us have your source. For example, maybe Justin Martyr said in “Against Heresies” that the Bible doesn’t really say that Jesus is both man and God but he takes it on faith that He is because his bishop told him that. Please stay focused on the discussion at hand.By the way, Jesus did NOT give up His resurrection body to fit into the Trinity. Why would you think He would, on my view, have to do that?Wait-you don’t really need to answer that last question. Instead, if you would, just produce a SINGLE historical reference that shows the councils were intended to invent doctrine or add doctrine to the faith that was not already contained in the Bible. If you do this, that is sufficient. Thank you.Shalom out.

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  13. I sense a straw man argument here. You keep harping on the idea of the creeds being convened to clarify the Bible. I think that is obvious, but I’m not sure why that’s important to you. The burden of proof is on your side to establish why this is critical to the discussion of the question addressed in this essay, “Are Mormons Christian?”To me, it has nothing to do with the fact that Mormons profess to be followers of Jesus Christ. Believing in the creeds does not make one Christian. Living a life that exemplifies the Savior through following his teachings is what makes one Christian. The creeds are irrelevant here. They were not around when the Savior was on the earth. However, since you asked, here is a reference that establishes that the creeds were influenced by the Greek philosophies of their day:”It is impossible for any one,” declared [the non-LDS scholar] Edwin Hatch in his classic 1888 Hibbert Lectures, “whether he be a student of history or no, to fail to notice a difference of both form and content between the Sermon on the Mount and the Nicene Creed. The Sermon on the Mount is the promulgation of a new law of conduct; it assumes beliefs rather than formulates them; the theological conceptions which underlie it belong to the ethical rather than the speculative side of theology; metaphysics are wholly absent.”The Nicene Creed is a statement partly of historical facts and partly of dogmatic inferences; the metaphysical terms which it contains would probably have been unintelligible to the first disciples; ethics have no place in it. The one belongs to a world of Jewish peasants, the other to a world of Greek philosophers.“The contrast,” Hatch continues, “is patent. If any one thinks that it is sufficiently explained by saying that the one is a sermon and the other a creed, it must be pointed out in reply that the question why an ethical sermon stood in the forefront of the teaching of Jesus Christ, and a metaphysical creed in the forefront of the Christianity of the fourth century, is a problem which claims investigation.” [Edwin Hatch, The Influence of Greek Ideas on Christianity, Gloucester, MA: Smith, 1970, p. 1.]

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  14. Dear Tim, greetings.After reading your last response I can onlly draw one of two conclusions. Either you are intentionally trying to mislead me or you do not understand what it is I am trying to say. But I do not think you are trying to mislead so apparently you do not understand the point I am trying to make. That is my fault for not being more clear.The Mormons have always claimed, as I understand them, that the creeds have added to the Bible. But now you are saying, contrary to all the Mormons I’ve ever heard from, that they are merely explaining more clearly what the Bible has always taught (i.e. in the interpretation of the council members). This is the point I was trying to make. So it was not a matter of “we really want to believe all this pagan stuff so we’ll add it to the faith”. Rather, it is a matter of “we have always believed these biblical teachings and we are now just formally explaining what we’ve always believed the Bible to say.” So their is NOTHING substantially new in creeds.You say that it is obvious the creeds were intended to clarify the Bible. Thank you for conceeding my original point. Why this is relevant to the discussion is that Mormons tend to reject the creeds because they think it is adding something new to the faith. We are making real progress here. Since you agree that the creeds were merely to explain what the Bible already taught, the next question would be why do you accept the Bible but reject the creeds. To remind you, it is not accepting the creeds per se that is what is at issue with respect to the definition of “Christian”. It is accepting the Bible.Your answer to this second question-please correct me if I am wrong-is that the council members misinterpreted the Bible for (among other reasons?) they were in apostasy. I need to stress that a misinterpreting apostasy into the Bible, by the fathers, is a TOTALLY separate issue from adding apostasy to the Bible. You agree they did not add it. The only question now, again, is if they misinterpreted it into it. I am glad to see you admitting the true nature of the creeds.I do need to take issue, however, with your further comments. Your historical reference was from the 19th century, well after the patristic period. That is way too late. Moreover, it is irrelevant. I say this for two reasons. First, the purpose of the Sermon of the Mount and the purpose of the councils were totally different as you righly point out. And? Second, everybody agrees that there was an influence of Greek philosophy in the thinking of the fathers. What is at issue here, however, is are the doctrines in the creeds found, at least implicitly, in the Bible. And here the answer can only be yes.If one accepts the Bible, then one must accept, for example, the doctrine of the Trinity. For example, the shema makes it clear there is one, and only one, God and yet at the baptism of Jesus there are three different (notice I did NOT say separate) divine persons present. How this could be taken in any other way than the trinitarian I have never been able to figure out. I’ve even had non-trinitarians appeal to the baptism passage to try to disprove the doctrine of the Trinity!Let’s back up a bit. We originally were discussing why Mormons aren’t, on my view, Christians. I said that it was not because they reject the creeds but because they reject the biblical doctrines espoused in the creeds. Mormons claim to follow Jesus. However, the Jesus in the Bible accepted the Bible. While the LDS claim to follow the Bible they actually do not (i.e. at the doctrinal points explained more formally in the creeds).To conclude, you have been very patient with me in explaining your point of view and shown a real willingness to continue the dialogue. I cannot thank you enough for this. When we refuse to have an intelligent discussion with another, I think, both parties really miss out. This has been a learning experience for both of us. Thanks again and hope to hear back from you real soon.

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  15. I have no idea how this dialog got off onto the creeds of the early Christian fathers. It has become a red herring. I am simply not understanding your point. I could care less what the creeds say or purport to clarify. They are not accepted as scripture in my religion so I just ignore them.If you want to accept them as scripture, then that is your choice. One of the articles of my faith is to allow others to believe and worship what they may. I’ve never heard of any Mormon saying that the creeds added to the Bible. As you know, we have added all kinds of scripture to the Bible so we have no problem with that concept.If you feel they are inspired and binding upon you, then by all means, let them guide you in your religious life. Me, I choose to listen to modern prophets and apostles over uninspired men from a time when the early Christian church had lost both authority and revelation from God – which are both critical to me in my faith.It’s obvious that you are convinced that Mormons are not Christian based on our rejection of the creeds, or as you say, the doctrines contained within them. I’ve tried to make it clear to you over and over again that we do not base our religion solely on the Bible. We understand that can be difficult for many to accept.Our faith and my faith in particular, is founded on the revelations and teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith. Our scripture includes the Book of Mormon, which he miraculously produced and can be read by anyone seeking evidence of his divine mission, as we claim.I have read some of the essays on your blog and am pleased to read what I consider to be faithful defenses of Christian conduct, behavior and belief. I commend you for that. It appears to me that you are a follower of Christ. I believe that I am also a follower of Jesus Christ, even if you cannot accept that.The best way for me to demonstrate my faith is not to argue with you because I believe that contention is a tool of the adversary. I pray the Lord’s blessings upon you in your sincere efforts to bring people to Christ. I am grateful to feel in my heart the peace that comes as I strive to follow his teachings as I have been taught and believe them.

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  16. The Bible clearly teaches the requirements to be a Christian. In fact it was Jesus Himself who put forth the qualifications: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).We are standing on dangerous ground if we go beyond the words of our Savior and try to impose different requirements on others for what it means to be a Christian and then persecute them for it. It actually sounds a little unchristian. Just saying.

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  17. Evangelical: If one accepts the Bible, then one must accept, for example, the doctrine of the Trinity. For example, the shema makes it clear there is one, and only one, God and yet at the baptism of Jesus there are three different (notice I did NOT say separate) divine persons present. How this could be taken in any other way than the trinitarian I have never been able to figure out.It seems clear to me that there are multiple ways of interpreting or reconciling Bible passages that appear to contradict each other. The shema speaks of one God; the Lord’s baptism speaks of three people. The Trinity is one way of reconciling those passages; the Godhead is another way of reconciling those passages. It seems a question of which passages we take figuratively and which passages we take literally. When the shema speaks of one God, we take that figuratively; you seem to take that literally. When the Lord’s baptism speaks of three people, we take that literally; you seem to take it figuratively. When the Lord says he wants his disciples to be one, even as the Father and the Son are one (John 17:21–23), we take that figuratively; I would guess you take that one figuratively as well.

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  18. Dear Nathan, since Tim hasn’t responded to my priesthood questions yet, I thought I’d take a moment to respond to your comments. While there are various ways of interpreting the Bible, it seems rather arbitrary that you would pick and choose (if this is what you are saying you do) which passages you are going to take figuratively and which literally based on your pre-conceived theology.I take ALL of the Bible literally. When it says there is ONLY one God, I take that literally and when it says there are three persons I take that literally. I must point out, to be clear, that taking the Bible literally, traditionally speaking, does not mean what people think it means. There can still be symbollical language in it (trees clapping their hands, in the Psalms, for example). Context is key.I suppose that you are using ‘Godhead’ in the Mormon sense. That is, there are three deities, amongst numerous others, who are united in purpose, and have charge of our world. This understanding of ‘Godhead’ is inconsistent with the Bible which says numerous times-explicitly and implicitly-that there is ONLY one deity. When Jesus prays for Christian unity He cannot mean precisely the same thing as divine unity for divine unity is unity of substance. But humans cannot have substantial unity. So we take it as ‘literally’ as we can.By the way, are you LDS Philosopher? Just curious about that. Bye now.

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  19. I posted a reply to Evangelical’s comment a couple weeks ago, but it still hasn’t been approved. I don’t know if I said something wrong. Tim, I wanted to email you but couldn’t find your email address on your site.

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  20. Hi Nathan, I don’t have comment approval turned on. All comments are posted immediatly. I see you posted a comment on March 18th and Gary (Evangelical) replied to you on March 19th. Did you post another comment after that? If so, I never saw it although there was another comment of yours posted on one of my other essays that same day – Objections to Book of Abraham. Tim

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  21. Taking the Bible literally, traditionally speaking, does not mean what people think it means. There can still be symbollical language in it (trees clapping their hands, in the Psalms, for example).By the definitions of literal and figurative that I’m most familiar with, symbolic language is figurative language. If you interpret that passage to mean something other than the idea that trees actually have hands, then you are taking it figuratively. Maybe a clearer way to say what you mean would be, “I take ALL of the Bible [seriously],” or “[authoritatively].” When it says there is ONLY one God, I take that literally and when it says there are three persons I take that literally.Maybe literal-v-figurative isn’t the best way for me to describe this. How about common meaning v. technical meaning?When your average Joe says “person” in everyday speech, they are conveying a commonly-held notion of a single, bodily-distinct individual with his own unique space, character, and location. That is the common, every-day meaning of the word “person.” But when discussing these scripture passages, you sometimes use the word to mean something different from the common usage—an “aspect” or “quality” (I’m not sure exactly how you would describe it, so I don’t want to put words in your mouth). That is a unique, technical meaning of the word “person.”When your average person says “God” in everyday speech, they are conveying a commonly-held notion of a one supreme ruler who governs everything else in the universe. That is the common, every-day meaning of the word “God.” But when discussing these passages, I use the word to mean something different from the common usage—a group of people who are so unified in purpose and principle that they act as one. That is a unique, technical meaning of the word “God.”We are both using one word with its common meaning and another word with a technical meaning. We just differ on which word is which.It seems rather arbitrary that you would pick and choose (if this is what you are saying you do) which passages you are going to take figuratively and which literally based on your pre-conceived theology.I am choosing my interpretations based on the words of people I accept as prophets. When the psalmist speak of a great king who will conquer Israel’s enemies, I base my interpretation on the words of Paul to mean enemies like sin and hell. When Isaiah speaks of one God, I base my interpretation on the words of Joseph Smith to mean a group of divine beings who are completely united in purpose and method. This understanding of ‘Godhead’ is inconsistent with the Bible which says numerous times—explicitly and implicitly—that there is ONLY one deity.See, I could say that your understanding of “Trinity” is inconsistent with the Bible, which says numerous times—explicitly and implicitly—that there are three individual people in the Godhead. When Jesus prays for Christian unity He cannot mean precisely the same thing as divine unity for divine unity is unity of substance. But humans cannot have substantial unity. Where do you get that idea from? What passage in the Bible explains these two distinct kinds of unity?By the way, are you LDS Philosopher?Yep, I’m one of the two authors at the site ldsphilosopher.com. I believe Jeff (the other author) uses the name “LDS Philosopher” as his user ID on some blogs or email addresses, though, so if you see “LDS Philosopher” on a comment somewhere, that’s not me; it’s probably Jeff.Thanks for your willingness to talk these things out. Paz afuera! ☺

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  22. Dear Nathan, I wanted to take some time to respond to your latest comments. I do not feel that this is getting too far afield of the main subject of the original post (for I equate trinitarianism with Christianity-but never mind that for now).Now, I do not wish to get us hung up over semantics. You don’t like my use of “literal”? Fine. Let us say that I take the Bible, in some ways, as just another book. It means what it says and says what it means. We apply the ordinary interprative rules to it that we do to any other piece of literature. The genre of the pericope, for example, must first be noted and so on.I really don’t want to go into a step-by-step hermeneutical outline here. But I would like to point out that a purported prophet could make the Bible say anything he wanted it to say. The job of the thoughtful LDS gentleman, in my opinion, is to subject such interpretations to the ordinary hermeneutical principles I’ve been alluding to. For example, who was James addressing when he said to pray for wisdom? There is certainly nothing (explicit?) about restoration proselytes in the context here.But let us move on to the doctrine of the Trinity. I cannot stress enough that the great emphasis I am placing on this is not because of some creed or ecclesiastical tradition but because it is the inescapable teaching of the Bible, on my view.I don’t think I can agree with you on the common notion of “person”. After all, when a person dies, prior to the resurrection, they do not have a body. Nevertheless, they are still a person.What is a person? As a working definition, we may say that a person is a center of cosciousness. Can a rock think or feel? No. Can a human being? Yes. So each human being is a person.Ever see one of those movies where two people (or persons, if you prefer) switch bodies? What is it that is switching? The centers of conciousness. Of course, this is just fantastical fiction but it illustrates the point that “person” is primarily thought of more in terms of soul than in terms of body.One is free to uniquely define “God” to mean a harmonious group of deities if one wishes. But one must realise they are being unique. Everybody else would describe such a group by the term “gods”. And I think one really starts getting into trouble when they say “x really means not-x” for most of the important x’s in, say, Christian theology. When the Bible says that God is holy, does that really mean He is exceedingly sinful? Of course not. So why suppose “one God” really means “several Gods that are one only in purpose”? That is twisting the text beyond what it was originally meant to say.You see, then, that I am using both words with their common meaning.Next, I am not sure which Pauline statements you are alluding to. However, sin and hell certainly are enemies of Israel conquered by a great king. There is no problem there. Yet, when Joseph Smith says, “‘only one God’ really means ‘not-only one God'” it is extremely difficult to see how he is not contradicting the plain and precious truth of the Bible. And revelation cannot contradict revalation for “it is impossible that God should lie.”You are quite correct that the Bible does say that there are three individual people in the Godhead. As a trinitarian I do not deny that. And this is what really confuses me. It is very common for a human person, who denies the doctrine of the Trinity, to point to the plurality of persons in God as though that disproved the doctrine of the Trinity. But the plurality of persons is why we trinitarians affirm the doctrine in the first place. So I am not sure what you (and other such human persons) think the doctrine of the Trinity really is. Please enlighten me, if you would. This is a sincere and honest request.The oneness of the being of God, AND the plurality of persons within the Godhead are both taught in the Bible and I accept them both. On the other hand, it seems, you want to accept the latter but deny the former. You ought not to remove ANY plain and precious truths from the Bible, don’t you agree?Where does the Bible speak of two different types of unity? Well, off the top of my head, the shema (the zeroth commandment in the ten commandments) says there is one and only one God. Since there is one and only one being called “God” there is only a single divine substance. Since that one God is three persons, there must be substantial unity within the one God, shared amongst the three persons. That is the first type of unity. Substantial unity. A second type of unity, clearly different from substantial unity, is the unity between a husband and wife. When the two become one, there is a unity of intamacy but no unity of substance. A third type of unity, that of brotherhood, was shared between David and Jonathan. The unity Christ is praying for is perhaps somewhere between brotherhood and sexual, if you wanted to place them in a continuum for comparison purposes.I hope this helps to clarify where I am comming from. I am looking forward to hearing your reply.

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  23. I would like some of these Christians who claim Mormons aren’t Christian to check it out with Jesus Christ himself and see what he has to say about it.

    Is it just me, or doesn’t it seem like many people rely on their own arguments instead of going straight to the horse’s mouth? Just go to the Lord. And seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can certainly set the record straight.

    As far as Mormons not following Christ, that’s untrue. Mormons are strictly commanded by the Lord their God Jesus Christ to follow him in all things. We are followers of Christ. We’re just really serious about it, unlike some of the Christian sects. Also, we don’t run after the creeds of men. We seek direct guidance from the Lord himself.

    What I find alarming is that many Christian sects teach that Jesus Christ, who created the mouth, cannot speak. Mormons, of course, know this is a complete farce, and not just because they read their Isaiah. Christians can and do get direct information from the Lord. Those who seek him shall find him, but those who think they are their own source of expert information will just spin their wheels in Nicea.

    So my challenge to any Christian who claims Mormons aren’t Christian is — why aren’t you checking it out with Christ himself? What are you afraid of?

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  24. I would like to respond to the accusation that Mormons think Satan is Jesus’ brother. I’ve heard that before, but here are the facts:

    (1) Satan is just an angel, and a fallen angel at that. Jesus is God Almighty.
    (2) When Jesus was born into the human race, it could be said that he became the brother of all those born on this planet. Satan doesn’t qualify.
    (3) Did you miss the part about Jesus being God Almighty? He’s so far above the angels that you can’t begin to make a comparison. The fact that he’s willing to call those who obey him friends and brethren is just his graciousness. Again, Satan is into disobeying God, so he just doesn’t qualify to be called a brother under this, either.

    I suppose the rumor that Mormons believe Satan is the Lord’s brother came from some oversimplified version of the rebellion Satan led in heaven that they were told as kids. Adults shouldn’t believe that kind of stuff. Grow up. Read the Old Testament. Then go back and read the Book of Mormon and see just how well it supports everything in the Bible, especially the fact that Jesus is the Lord of Hosts, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then see if you can still believe Satan has any status at all other than the wretch that he his — the abominable branch trodden under foot.

    Maybe some Mormons are under the delusion that Satan is Jesus’ brother. But if they are, they’d better go back and read their scriptures and quit being such tremendously ignorant dunderheads.

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  25. With all due respect to those who look to the Nicean Creed and other creeds from men trying to decide what the Bible means, they are looking to the councils of men rather than to the council of God himself. Jesus Christ told us not to rely on our own wisdom, but to rely on his. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Prov. 3:5)

    Instead of getting our noses out of joint by studying what men said in human councils here on earth, let’s just ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. Hey, that’s Biblical, and you can’t condemn Mormons for making that their standard way of searching out truth.

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  26. I just want to point out that there is more in the Bible than most people think. For example, Mormons may think that the fact that the family unit continues in heaven is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but just look at the book of Job. The prophet Job lost everything when Satan started persecuting him, and the Bible clearly says that the Lord rescued Job and restored to him double in EVERYTHING. But when you do the math, Job only received the same number of children again. How, then, did he receive double in everything? It was because he never lost his children, although they are in heaven. This substantiates the fact that families are eternal.

    I never noticed the significance of this part of Job until the Holy Spirit hit me over the head with it one day. Then, a few months later, I heard a nondenominational Christian discuss the same thing, telling a couple that a miscarried baby was still theirs and waiting for them in heaven, and backing it up with the book of Job.

    Therefore, I would submit that although we do not currently have all scripture that was ever written, there is quite enough truth in the Bible to substantiate all the truths the Lord has revealed in the latter days. In other words, Mormon teachings are ALL biblical.

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  27. I notice that a lot of Christians rely on human reasoning to justify their viewpoints, but human reasoning is flawed. It is through the gifts of the spirit that we gain spiritual understanding. Like the Pharisees, people can be steeped in tradition and dogma and utterly close the eyes of their spiritual understanding.

    No matter how intellectual an individual is and no matter how much diatribe he spreads around, it doesn’t make him an expert. Claiming that your understanding is superior to that which the Holy Spirit provides because the Holy Spirit testifies through the mind and heart — through feeling, if you will — is evidence of a soul darkened to the direct promptings of the spirit. It really reminds me of how the Lord rebuked the religious leaders of his time, who were opposing him when he was teaching his own gospel: “Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” (John 9:41)

    You shouldn’t criticize someone for having direct faith in Christ rather than faith in councils held by men. If you do, you’re on the wrong side of the argument. You’re saying men have taken over Christ’s church and Christ can no longer speak for himself. That’s a dangerous position to take, to be sure.

    I just want to say other Christians cannot say Mormons aren’t Christian. Jesus Christ determines who is his follower — that is not something men determine. Have you checked with the Lord lately on the subject? If not, then what can you possibly know.

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